I like writers I can argue with as I turn the pages, and the eminent Catholic thinker George Weigelalways clear and decisive in his judgmentsfills the bill. Broadly sympathetic at the outset to his "call for action," I found myself frequently noting passages that seemed simplistic, inflated in their rhetoric. I ended with more understanding for critics of American policy with whom Weigel and I both disagreenot exactly the author's intention, but I thank him for it anyway.
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Understanding Four Views on the Lord's Supper
John H. Armstrong, ed.
The format of this volume, framed by the editor's helpful introduction and conclusion, encourages give-and-take among the representatives of the four views: Russell D. Moore, Baptist ("Christ's Presence as Memorial"); I. John Hesselink, Reformed ("The Real Presence of Christ"); David P. Scaer, Lutheran ("Finding the Right Word"); and Thomas A. Baima, Catholic ("Christ's True, Real, and Substantial Presence"). I was raised with the Baptist view but have come to believe in Christ's Real Presence, a great mystery that should be at the heart of our worship, and I pray for a rediscovery of the Eucharist among evangelicals even as I respect the different views of my fellow believers.
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Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
"In a sense," Martin writes, "this book is not an autobiography but a biography, because I am writing about someone I used to know." A friend asked me if the book was funny. No, I saidthough it's full of irony and wit as well as sadness and pain (especially Martin's lingering memory of his father's aloofness and "unprovoked hostility"), and the razor-sharp observation that makes Martin such a gifted performer. This is an achingly absorbing memoir that left me with a sense of the strangeness, the estrangement, that comes with being human in a fallen world.
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